(1310-06-08) Meeting the Alban Ambassador
Summary: The Duchesse of Eisande receives the Alban Ambassador in a long overdue audience.
RL Date: Sat Jun 09, 2018
Related: References Beziers Plot.
aedhwyn armandine 

Solar — Ducal Palace

Spacious enough to provide a meeting place of more familiar atmosphere to the residents of the Ducal Palace, the solar is of rectangular shape and generously lit during the day through a number of arched windows in the south wall. The opposite side is governed by a huge stone hearth, a fire crackling there during colder weather conditions. Above the hearth hangs a shield with the coat of arms of House Mereliot, flanked by a pair of exquisitely woven tapestries depicting naval scenes of ships on the sea, one in calm and tranquil weather conditions, the other one in a storm with heavy rain.

All furniture is made of oak, be it the long table in the middle of the room, or the number of high backed chairs arranged about it, flat cushions of blue brocade adding to the comfort of seating. The ceiling is a sophisticated rib vault, constructed of wood, the ribs painted in yellow. Depictions of a variety of sea animals have been added onto the light blue ceiling as well by an unknown artist. Several kinds of Mediterranean fish adorn the spaces in between ribs, such as combers, groupers and flounders but also starfish and octopusses.

A door leads out onto a rooftop garden, and an archway opens into the upper hallway.

The schedule of the Lady of Marsilikos has been crazy of late, to say the least. Much of her attention had been taken by the tragedy of her younger sister, and a number of nieces and nephews getting killed. Traces are still visible upon Her Grace, Armandine Mereliot - a certain earnest air about her, and the choice of dress which is all black in contrast to the happy family colors she usually prefers. Blonde hair has been arranged in a courtly manner, and upon her head rests the ducal coronet with all its implications of duty. She had sent of a guest, a foreign ambassador who has been residing in Marsilikos for a few weeks already, without her getting the chance of an audience. A fact, Armandine intends to right now. When Aedhwyn enters, Armandine will rise from her seat and turn to regard the young woman, her gaze curious, and her smile a touch friendly.

Aedhwyn has made her way to the ducal palace and donned her most courtly dress though it is several decades out of fashion. She wears her woad in delicate yet intricate patterns, matching the bright Courcel blue woven into her dress. Across her cheekbones and the bridge of her nose, are dots of bright blue and black. She curtsies formally, her manner graceful but again this too is out of fashion. She speaks in clear d'Angeline, much like a native would though her accent is almost watered down as if she learned the language second or third hand. "Good day to you, your Grace."

Armandine smiles, before she returns the curtsey in kind. "Your Highness." A greeting she offers with a faint flicker in her gaze. "You are here as ambassador of your country, so I am told. Alba. Please… you must forgive me for not receiving you any sooner." Gesturing towards a comfortable seat not too far from her own, she adds, "I would be pleased if you'd joined me for a moment. So that we can speak of your intentions and hopes for your visit." With her black skirts rustling, the duchesse reclaims her seat from before, looking expectantly towards Aedhwyn.

Aedhwyn moves forward to take the offered seat, "Thank you for the the kindness and honour of accompanying you for a while." Her steps aren't fluid, but they are quiet. "If I may introduce myself, it would at the very least clarify my position here, if not my intentions."

"Please." Armandine considers the young woman with a smile. "In the meantime, perhaps I can offer you anything to drink while we sit and talk?" It was Aedhwyn though who offered to introduce herself, and so Armandine will remain silent for a moment. The warmth flickering in her eyes maybe a disposition of the Companion of her province, speaking of quick wit but also empathy.

Aedhwyn speaks softly, "I am Áedhwyn mab Mór Ríoghain of the Maghuin Dhonn, eldest sister to the Clan Chief, grand-daughter of Alais the Wise, Ambassador from Alba." She smiles, "Again most kind of you. I would gladly share not only a moment with you in conversation but appreciate the gift of hospitality. As to my purpose, I am here to help bridge your world and my own since I am technically of both."

"Armandine Clémence Mereliot, Duchesse of Eisande, called the Lady of Marsilikos by some," the same counters with a fine smile, "But you already know that. I wonder…" And here she falls silent. "You brother the Clan Chief must be very young still." An observation made with a curious flicker in her gaze. "You speak our language well, and I trust this is due to your heritage. Forgive me, but I recall the line of succession being quite the complicated science in your lands… With you being his eldest sister… are there certain implications or duties connected to that fact?"

Aedhwyn nods her head, "My brother is older than I but I am the eldest sister. I have many more brothers and sister. As to matter of inheritance, the next to inherit is always the eldest male child born to the eldest sister of the noble, in this case the clan chief." She smiles just a bit, "I have spoken d'Angeline since I was a child, all my brothers and sisters have done so, along with Cruithne. My father taught us even as his mother taught him."

Armandine inclines her head to this. "I see. And I also see why this match you may seek could be of great importance to both Alba and Terre d'Ange. May I ask how old you are, Your Highness?" The question is uttered softly, as Armandine considers Aedhwyn. "As you seek to be matched? Your d'Angeline is flawless, considering you have lived outside of Terre d'Ange all your life. Did your Clan Chief give you any particular advice on where to look for a match? He must hope for you to visit Elua, to speak with His Majesty the King."

Aedhwyn mms, "I seek, not a match, though one might be sought eventually. I seek a better understanding of Terre d'Ange and to serve well as Ambassador. We Alban are not so different than d'Angelines but those differences that there are, I wish to help bridge them." She blushes a bit, "I am 16, born just after the night that is longest. Eventually I will visit Elua but first Marsilikos, a place of commerce and travel."

"Ah, I see." Armandine leans back, and it seems her expression shifts into a slightly more informal one. "And you are right. It is a good thing to learn of other lands. We have ambassadors elsewhere, and it is important to become of difference in views as well, as to be open to discuss them." Her brows lift when she hears Aedhwyn state her age, and that smile deepens. "You have plenty of time, then. I hope you have found the chambers provided to you in the Guest Tower to be to your liking? You are encouraged to venture out of the palace, but if you do, please take guards along. It is not that there are many perils to expect. But then again, that's what people thought at Beziers as well. Have you already made some excursions of your own? Do you have any questions and concerns I may help with?"

Aedhwyn nods her head, "There is time but….may I ask, your Grace, what you know of my people, of Alba in general?" She draws in a breath and looks down a moment.

<FS3> Armandine rolls Politics: Great Success. (7 8 4 1 4 6 1 5 8 5 8 4)

"Too little, I would think," Armandine counters. "I know Alba and Terre d'Ange have been allies for quite some time. I know some Albans have the rare gift of dreaming true, according to tales I heard. I haven't ever been to Alba, and given Marsilikos' location we only have very few from there venturing as far as here."

<FS3> Aedhwyn rolls Mind+orate: Success. (3 3 7 6 1 3)

Aedhwyn nods her head, "I share this story with you because you mourn the loss of a loved one. I was there though i was not. It was a place like this but not." She closes her eyes, weaving her tale, "The waters of the bay, lap and lick at the land. Lights, like so many fireflies brighten the evening, lending it a joy and cheerfulness. The festival brings so many joy, the performance of jugglers, entertainer, children laughing, running, playing. There is a dancer, red upon red, swirling, spinning, like a child's toy, meant to lure the eye. to catch the eye, to distract but for a moment." She looks down without seeing, "A mug lifts, ale yet it is not right. The taste of it bitter, sour, and then darkness…all consuming, suffocating until there is nothing but the darkness."

<FS3> Armandine rolls Composure: Good Success. (2 6 2 8 1 1 4 8 1 5 6 4)

The eyes of the duchesse widen slightly as she digests what Aedhwyn tells her, a line appearing between her brows as she considers. "You've dreamt this?", she wonders. "What you describe is what occurred at the Festival of Lights in Béziers." A pause there, as Armandine clears her throat. "The witch Naimah used a rare poison of sorts, along with a spell, so I've been told, to… submit some of the townspeople to her will." The smile that had faded returns, even if faintly, as the duchesse looks towards Aedhwyn. "How fascinating that you received such a vision, in your dreams. And thank you, for sharing it with me." She nods her head, but it seems her thoughts linger for that tiny bit longer on the loss her family has suffered. Before she straightens and regards Aedwhyn with her usual demeanor of friendly curiosity. "The woman Naimah will no longer torment us with her evil workings. She's to be trialed in a few days, and executed, as punishment for all the atrocity she's caused."

Aedhwyn nods her head, "I have seen this thing in my dreams." She lifts her hair to reveal the marque on her right temple. "This marque is so people might know the words I speak are true. Though I do now know this woman, please know that care should be taken especially if she has access to the Old Ways once lost." She looks to Armandine, a small smile upon her lips. "I am sorry for your loss. Your family has suffered greatly."

"Thank you, for your condolences. They are appreciated," Armandine Mereliot assures Aedhwyn. The revealed mark she considers with a lift of her brows. "And I shall take your warning to heart. Naimah deserves a trial at least, but yet I have little doubt about the outcome. After that…" The corners of her mouth lift in a smile, "the court of Marsilikos can turn their attention back to mre pleasant matters. We have a lot of foreign dignitaries currently in Marsilikos. I shall hold a reception soon, to give our nobility the chance to meet my guests. After all, a cultural exchange between Terre d'Ange and other countries can only be of benefit."

Aedhwyn nods her head, "It would be a most welcome diversion." She smiles a bit, though the colour rises on her cheeks. "As to the other matter, I would prefer not to be seen as a way to power, though a match must be made eventually."

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